so much to do to prepare for today,
for the party, the people attending
expect great things, there’s much to be cleaned
my task list is never ending:

get up at dawn, fix the door
mow the lawn, mop the floors
set up the canopy, unstack the chairs
cut up the apples, peaches and pears
make 3 other salads, clean the dog’s pen
take out the trash, make ice cubes again
pull up the weeds, pick up the twigs
set up the croquet & whirlygigs
unfurl the flag and hoist it
find all the playstation joysticks
find the hammer,
hang up the banner
scale the fish
put snacks in dishes
inside, be sure it’s all dusted
put the dog in his pen – he can’t be trusted
set up tables, wet bar and grill
put ice in the coolers, let the drinks chill
make ice again so there’ll be some for later
get out the plow, fill in that crater
put guest towels in the bathrooms
make playlists on my i-tunes
where is the spouse? either find him
or leave a message to remind him
since you know his mind can roam
leave it where he’ll see it on his way back home:

the pies

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning

This is for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge
203 words

we have to cross the street

a circus tent went up last night
and now we cannot sleep
we’re all a little scared of clowns
often when one comes around
we have to cross the street

we love to see the jugglers and
we love the tightwire act
but clowns are known
to steal your stuff
and that’s a simple fact

creepy not so creepy clown

we love to ride the rides they have
the elephants are never bad 
but daddy was a circus clown
and he stole everything we had

we used to love the circuses
each one of us enjoyed them
but it took years to start again
so now we just avoid them

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
created for the Daily Prompt – circus
and entertaining with the Daily prompt – simple, while something new is cooking
photo by Ryan McGuire, courtesy

the desperate canvas of nothingness

back into the void
after weeks of
purposeful activity
brought me down
deep down
blank space
can’t face
the concept of
the lack of
we have our happy days
think nothing of the complexities
of the universe or
the desperate canvas
of nothingness

photo by skeeze, courtesy                                              

then we hit the void
why ever we can’t know
but we do hit it
head first
dizzying spins
cartoon exclamation points
and we are left again
it’s all so inane
so futile
would that we were infants
too new to think
these inevitable
why worry
why bother

©2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily Prompt– blank

my blank white clean white space

blank white page in a spiral notebook

nothing like the blank white
clean white
space on the page
the possibilities are eternal
as long as the space
on the page is clean
it can mean whatever
I want it to mean
like a get-to-be-lived life
a yet-to-be-read book
a feast not devoured
a virgin still flowered
a light bulb unpowered
an oilfield untapped
oh crap.
while i’m sitting here
babbling on
my blank white clean white
space is gone


©2002 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by jschofield courtesy

Daily Prompt – blank

on hospitals

fevers, rashes, other ills
the worser off, the bigger bills
they give you tests, they give you chills
it’s odd how orderlies get their thrillsfunny-pinata-comic-hospital-lost-lot-candy-pics

coughs & hiccoughs, headaches, sneezes
some common and some rare diseases
mother mary, holy jeezes
i’ve got emphysema wheezes

crutches, bandages and braces
bed pans, bottles, wheelchair races
bloodshot eyes & purple faces
hospitals are sickly places



© 1977 kStan(ly)Lanning
for Dougie Zwick, when he was sick

Daily Prompt – orderly
Daily prompt – test

Basking Bibble

basking bibbleBibble laying in the sun
looks more tan than anyone
here he’s sleeping by the ocean
he must have used my
suntan lotion
Bibble doesn’t even sweat
i thought his armpits
would be wet
in fact i thought
they’d be wet more
cuz I have 2 and he has 4…
no, he is the epitome
of just how cool a cat can be


© 1976 kStan(ly) Lanning

Daily Prompt – epitome


cutlery in the days of rage

wooper had a pretty fork
we took it when we ran
there’s so few ways to
retain sane
like a pretty fork can
her pretty fork and her Mi-mou
the only things that mattered
whenever we escaped his rage
and peaceful life got shattered
and then along came akj,
our 3rd, our musketeer,
and ak had a fancy spoon
that he held near and dear

cutlery defined us then
it helped us cope with life
his the spoon
hers the fork
mine the bloody knife

photo by Humusak, courtesy

© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning

Discover Challenge – fork

no one’s keeping track

photo by Anne-Onyme courtesy

how many times
did she cry in pain
only to be ignored
how many times
did she long to explain
the places she’s explored
the invisible woman
wanders alone
her ankles have swollen
her sorrows have grown
how many times
have people passed
not once looking back
you can call it countless,
no one’s keeping track

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
Discover Challenge – countless
check out this amazing blog on homelessness:


crowded train
photo courtesy

it’s sardine time
on this train
we cannot fit
a single grain
we even can’t fit
no more air
we will explode
with one more air
to little pieces
goodby my nephews
goodbye nieces

they’re pushing to
get on again
evil women
cruel men
if we explode
they’ll never find us
and there’s a new train
right behind us
we couldn’t fit
one drop of water
goodby my son
goodbye daughter



(c) 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
title courtesy my boy

Daily Challenge – grain


I sometimes think
that I should try
to change the world
but not me, I
am merely here to entertain
(Colbert* couldn’t do it
neither could Jon Stewart
and I’m not near as funny
they both have twice the money
and I haven’t half their brains)
I used to think
we’d gotten past
the hateful times…
it didn’t last,
it was a phase that ended
if we persist
and hang on tight
this nasty phase…
this phase just might
end sooner than intended
until that time
all I can do
is try to smile…
to humor you
and try to give life meaning
and now and then
in my small way
I’ll spread the word…
I’ll subtly say

that we’re all human beings

(be brave be wise
be kind be fair
treat people like…
they’re really there…

especially Jon Stewart and Colbert*)




(c) 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily Post – phase